In collecting data about what kids wonder about concerning where rocks come from, I discovered that they do not know where rocks come from after studying the rock cycle. They may be able to name the three types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. In general they cannot define the terms except for more details on sedimentary.
I am a teacher who does not have a background in earth science until recently. I am studying on my own with interviews, reading, webinars, online learning, etc. I am just a lay person. In collecting information for a fiction chapter book that I'm writing, I needed to know more earth science.
I am seeking your professional help in what you think is important about what a learner should understand about rocks and minerals. I have asked hundreds of students from grades 3 to 5, middle school to high school and adults, "Where do rocks come from?" They look at me blankly. Yes, a couple of them say from lava or magma.
I have asked them to write down five questions that they wonder about concerning the earth and rocks. This is after all have had rock units in science class. They wonder about where rocks come from, where mts. come from, why are there volcanoes, what makes minerals, what is gold, etc. The first three are predominate wonderings. Some say they don't know where to start and don't understand anything enough to ask the questions.
What do think is happening to basic earth science teaching strategies? As a teacher who did not have the rock unit at my grade level, I still missed the boat massively. I should have been teaching about mineral use everyday and embedded it in my instruction from economics, math, social studies, language arts, everyday life, etc. I intend to do better.
Please help me understand what would improve the study of earth science in the lower grades so kids wonder and ask more questions.
Yes, I know the elementary teachers need a core knowledge in earth science and geology. I do not see a presentation of plate tectonics, why there is volcanic action, earthquake basics,mountain building (yes, erosion and weathering) etc.
If you are high school, you might want to quiz your own students. Try it...or maybe you have and realize the same thing that I found about a lack of understanding about where rocks come from, etc.
Remember I am only a lay person. Need your insight.